Britain’s biggest nightclub operator Luminar has continued to see the rate of its sales decline slow, with same outlet sales down 9.7% for the 9 weeks to 2 July 2011, however the rate of improvement is slower than it had anticipated. The 9.7% decline was an improvement on the previous nine weeks, with same outlets sales for the 18 weeks to 2nd July down 11.7%, as the group reported that it continued to see the benefit of its actions to drive admissions. The company, which operates the Oceana and Liquid brands, said that constructive discussions with its banking group as to the options for a longer-term solution to the restructuring of its debt were ongoing. The company said: “Despite our marketplace remaining highly competitive with increased discounting by some operators, Luminar continues to see the benefit of its actions reflected in an improving performance, with a slightly lower than anticipated reduction in the decline of sales.” It said that it was responding to the “increased competitive environment in certain locations” with targeted initiatives to drive admission volumes. The group said that the reduction in margin associated with this activity is largely being offset by increased admissions. It now has seven venues successfully operating Jongleurs comedy evenings with a further five in the pipeline. The company has also opened five Woo Woo Bars adjacent to its existing clubs and expects to open an additional four over the coming months. It said that these, with other initiatives, were extending the dwell time of customers in its venues as well as attracting customers outside its traditional 18-24 year old target market. As part of its strategy to optimize our estate, the company has disposed of its club at Redhill and sold with a minimum two-year leaseback its Lava and Ignite club in Preston for a total consideration of £2.6m. In addition, Luminar received £1.1m following the liquidation of 3DE in which it held a 49% stake.